Shopping around for any type of new home flooring can seem overwhelming. With so many options in types of material, installation and pricing, it can be easy to become confused and frustrated. Before you venture into purchasing bamboo flooring, here are some general tips to get your started.
1. Choose a type of bamboo flooring – Luckily, there are only two types of bamboo flooring in terms of look. These are strand-woven and traditional. While traditional will give you a cleaner, more uniform look, strand-woven is more natural looking. If you are going with traditional bamboo flooring, you will then have to choose from horizontal and vertical grain directions and if you would like solid bamboo or engineered bamboo. Solid bamboo is more eco-friendly since it is 100% bamboo while engineered is definitely stronger since it is also made of compressed particle board.
2. Determine hardness of the flooring – An industry standard test for flooring hardness is the Janka Hardness Test. Do not purchase bamboo flooring that has a Janka rating of less than 2300. After you have found the Janka rating, you should still request some samples to try out on your own. Test them for durability and see which ones hold up the best.
3. Find out how eco-friendly it is – Bamboo flooring that is truly eco-friendly is made without formaldehyde. Also ask if the flooring is LEED certified. (LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system.)
4. Ask if it is suitable for your living conditions – Some bamboo flooring is sold for either residential use or commercial use. It is important to know this before purchasing. Also, ask the manufacturer questions about how the bamboo will hold up in your home’s particular conditions including humidity, high traffic or below-grade installation.
5. Ask about the warrantee – Think of a warrantee as a measure of how confident the manufacturer is about their bamboo flooring. A great warrantee would be a 25-year residential, 10-year commercial finish and 30-year structural.